2020 RECongress Period 2
Religious Education Congress
Friday, February 21, 2020
1:00 - 2:30 pm
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2-01 Super Heroines and Heroes of Holiness and Mercy Arena
Need a little inspiration? Stories have power to move us, especially true stories of people who have made a deep impact on other lives. Their creative genius might change the way you think about holiness! God used them in unexpected ways. Let this be the impetus for you to launch out into a fresh witness of holiness and mercy in our world never seen before! There is only one saint like you. No journey like yours. No one else can live YOU to the fullest! Who is to say that you aren’t a super heroine in your parish, your neighborhood, your community? Maybe part of your heroism is your invisibility. That has power!
Sr. Kathleen Bryant, RSC
Sr. Kathleen Bryant, a Religious Sister of Charity, lives in Dublin, Ireland and serves on her order’s leadership team. She has ministered as a retreat facilitator, spiritual director and workshop presenter revealing her passion for justice, spirituality, formation, women’s spiritual development and the abolition of human trafficking. Sr. Bryant has authored numerous articles and books and has presented workshops in Australia, Ireland and Africa as well as throughout the United States.
2-02 Adaptive Learning: Meeting Special Needs in Catechesis
We know the Gospel message is for everybody, but how can we make it more accessible for children and teens with diverse learning needs? In this session, co-presented by a seasoned catechetical leader and a child psychologist, we’ll explore what our Church teaches about inclusion of persons with disabilities and learn basic skills that catechists and catechetical leaders can use to ensure that everyone can encounter Christ in our Church.
Ana M. Arista
Ana Arista is Director of Faith Formation at Saint William Church in Round Rock, Texas, one of the largest Catholic parishes in the South. She has over 20 years’ experience in early childhood education and has worked as an early childhood teacher, curriculum specialist and child development center director. She has presented at diocesan and national conferences across the country. Arista is co-author of the “Allelu!” early childhood religion series from Our Sunday Visitor.
Joseph D. White, PhD
Based in Austin, Texas, Dr. Joseph White is a child and family psychologist as well as Director of Catechetical Resources for Our Sunday Visitor Publishing and Curriculum. He previously worked as a parish catechetical leader and spent seven years as Director of Family Counseling and Family Life in the Diocese of Austin, Texas. A frequent guest on Catholic radio and television, Dr. White is author of 11 books and numerous articles on catechesis and ministry.
2-03 Finding Forgiveness in the Family
Pope Francis tells us that the most important words we can say in family life are “please,” “thank you” and “sorry.” In this workshop, we focus on the power of “sorry” and the healing power that God’s mercy can bring to family relationships. How can we learn to forgive and begin to heal after experiencing pain and loss in family life? What are some of the ways in which we are called to live out God’s mercy with our spouses, siblings, parents and children? This talk offers spiritual support for the “walking wounded” who have experienced the everyday wounds of imperfect love in family life, with encouragement to trust in God’s unfailing, infinite mercy.
Based in New Hampshire, Danielle Bean is Brand Manager for CatholicMom, part of the Holy Cross Family Ministries, and former Publisher and Editor-In-Chief of Catholic Digest magazine. She is author of several books for women, including “Momnipotent,” “You’re Worth It!” and her newest books, “You Are Enough” and “The Manual for Women.” Bean is also creator and host of the Girlfriends podcast and a popular speaker on a variety of subjects related to Catholic family life, parenting, marriage and the spirituality of motherhood.
2-04 Saint Mary: In the Image and Likeness of the Father of Mercies
This workshop will consider how Mary, the mother of Jesus and the Church, invites us to be the image and likeness of God the Father of Mercies, as based on the Sermons of Santa Juana de la Cruz, a Spanish Franciscan Sister. Santa Juana was a mystic, a pastor and a preacher in the early 1500s. She preached to her parishioners, to her sisters, to bishops and the royal family. Her sermons contained a unique view of Mary as a model of holiness and mercy who intercedes for sinners. In her mercy, she wants to assume everyone with her into heaven.
Gilberto Cavazos-Gonzalez, OFM
Professor Gilberto Cavazos-Gonzalez, former pastor and youth evangelizer, is a Franciscan Friar and Professor of Spirituality working at the Pontifical Academy of Mary and the Pontifical University Antonianum in Rome. He has given retreats, parish missions and academic conferences in the United States, Mexico, Europe and South America. Prof. Cavazos-Gonzalez is author of several books and is currently writing on the Mariology of Spanish Franciscan mystic and pastor, Santa Juana de la Cruz Vasquez Gutierrez.
2-05 Martin Luther King Jr.: What If He Were Still Alive Today?
What if the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. were still alive today? What if the gunshot wound had not been fatal? What if Dr. King, at 91, was among us, like Moses whose eyes were not dimmed? In this presentation, Bishop Edward Braxton will examine factors that are exacerbating the racial divide today. From Rev. Dr. King’s perspective, what would the troubadour for justice and peace have to say about the world today? What would be his response to political discourse increasing the racial divide and the fact of his “dream?” Has the Catholic Church advanced that dream?
Most Rev. Edward K. Braxton, PhD, STD
Chicago native Bishop Edward Braxton was installed as bishop for the Diocese of Belleville, Ill. in 2005. He authored several books and many articles and has served on the faculties at The Catholic University of America, the University of Notre Dame, Harvard Divinity School, and the Pontifical North American College in Rome. Bishop Braxton’s 2015 pastoral letter, “The Racial Divide in the United States,” has been published in several journals and he has lectured on the issues addressed in the pastoral at a number of universities.
2-06 The Power to Transform Your Parish
Within the story on the Road to Emmaus lays a power that can transform your parish. Jesus offers to us a model of evangelization: Jesus shares with the two on the road a compelling vision for life, he models for us what spiritual accompaniment looks like, and shows us what disciples do when they are filled with missionary zeal! In this session, individuals will learn six spiritual practices for renewal they can begin to put into practice in their lives now. These spiritual practices are a way of life that can be lived by any baptized person who seeks to infuse into ministry the transformative power and light of the Gospel on the Road to Emmaus.
Rev. Jim Clarke, PhD
Fr. Jim Clarke is Director of New Evangelization for the Los Angeles Archdiocese. With an extensive academic background in the fields of spirituality, adult education, counseling, ritual and depth psychology, Fr. Clarke is also an Associate Spiritual Director at the Cardinal Manning House of Prayer for Priests in Los Angeles. He is fluent in English and Spanish and is widely traveled with his work and further education, which has taken him to Israel, Mexico, Canada, Africa, Europe, Australia, Guam and American Samoa.
Bobby Vidal has served as an evangelization consultant with archdioceses, parishes and national evangelization apostolates for more than 25 years and is currently Associate Director of New Evangelization for the Los Angeles Archdiocese. He was keynote for Boston Archdiocese’s first conference on Intentional Discipleship and was keynote of the Evangelization Summit in the Diocese of Orange, Calif. Vidal has contributed to “Becoming a Parish of Intentional Disciples” and co-authored a multi-media training program.
2-07 Effective Prayer with Children: It’s Easier Than You Think!
Do you ever get stuck when it comes to prayer with children? Are you looking for new and creative ideas to incorporate into the classroom? Then come to this workshop! Together, we will explore easy (and fun!) ways to create dynamic prayer experiences and learn how to nurture young pray-ers.
Based on the East Coast, Steven Ellair is Editorial Director and a national speaker with Saint Mary’s Press. He has been involved in catechetical ministry for nearly 30 years and has served as a parish catechist, youth minister, Catholic schoolteacher and archdiocesan educational consultant. Ellair has been involved in Catholic publishing for 16 years and continues to write and speak nationally on issues related to catechesis. He has presented at national religious education events for the past 25 years.
2-08 The Opioid Crisis: What You Need to Understand
Have you faced opioid abuse or death among your parishioners or staff? If you haven’t yet, you will. This crisis is reaching epidemic proportions in this country. A person’s job or position offers no protection, and yet parishes and people in general have very little training on the issues. This info-packed session gives important background information on the nature and causes of opioid addiction, along with unique aspects of grief they trigger in families. Then it equips you with practical steps you can take to educate, help prevent, and when necessary, support those who are affected.
Amy Florian is a liturgy and bereavement consultant and CEO of Corgenius Inc., a company that teaches professionals how to support clients in transition and loss. She has 30 years of parish and conference experience, has taught in the graduate ministry department of Loyola University Chicago for 10 years, and has authored over 150 articles and four books. Florian travels the country presenting workshops, training sessions and retreats.
2-09 Standing in Awe and Wonder and Praise: The Transformative Power of Humble Thanks
At the center of our Catholic tradition is the celebration of the Eucharist. It is the third and only repeatable sacrament of initiation, crowning baptism and confirmation. The Eucharist serves as a “school of peace,” according to the catechesis of St. Pope John Paul II. Attend this workshop and ponder this wonderful gift of love. Appreciate anew the transformative power of giving humble thanks and praise, our duty and salvation, and the source and summit of true peace.
Rev. Richard Fragomeni
Fr. Richard Fragomeni, a priest of the Diocese of Albany, N.Y., is Associate Professor of Liturgy and Homiletics at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, where he is also Chair of the Department of Word and Worship. He has written widely on liturgy, music, symbolism, the Catechumenate, the Eucharist and liturgies with children, among other subjects. In addition to his teaching and preaching duties, Fr. Fragomeni serves as spiritual director for the Shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii, an Italian American parish in Chicago’s Little Italy.
2-10 Transformation from the Heart: Why Your Encounter with Jesus Changes the World
The most powerful Gospel you will ever proclaim is by how you live your day-to-day life. An authentic, vibrant love of Jesus Christ is captivating to behold, and a sign needed in the world today. How do we practically live this out? What gets in the way of reflecting God’s mercy, love and truth in the world? In this workshop, we will explore the deepest desires of the human heart, how Jesus continually calls, pursues and heals each one of us, and why surrendering our hearts and lives to him every day is the most important decision we will ever make.
Sr. Miriam James Heidland, SOLT
Sr. Miriam Heidland is a former Division I athlete who joined the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity (SOLT) in 1998. Her story has been featured on EWTN’s “The Journey Home,” and at the SEEK Conference, Relevant Radio and other outlets. She currently is Assistant to the SOLT Sisters’ General Superior and speaks regularly on the topics of conversion, authentic love, forgiveness, healing … and sports! Sr. Heidland is author of the book, “Loved As I Am,” and her podcast, Abiding Together, can be found on iTunes.
2-11 Ministry with Young People Through an Intercultural Perspective
We are a diverse and global Church, especially in our ministries with youth and young adults. In Christus Vivit, Pope Francis’ summons to young people, the Holy Father encourages us to look beyond our local, cultural and individual realities – and to be international, intercultural, intergenerational and interconnected (#168-178). When our ministries are holy, whole and holistic, they can truly be effective and impactful on youth and young adults. This session will also look at the English and Spanish translations of Christus Vivit, and what we can learn from one another through humility, dialogue and intercultural and intergenerational exchange.
Paul Jarzembowski is Assistant Director for Youth and Young Adult Ministries for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat for Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth and is the National Coordinator for World Youth Day for the United States. He previously served as Executive Director of the National Catholic Young Adult Ministry Association. Jarzembowski has presented to over 300 dioceses, parishes and Catholic organizations in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, Europe, Latin America, and at the Vatican.
Marilyn Santos is Associate Director of the Secretariat of Evangelization and Catechesis at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. She previously served as Director of Mission Education in the National Office of the Pontifical Mission Societies in the United States. Santos has held leadership positions in youth, young adult and cultural diversity ministries in the Atlanta Archdiocese; the Diocese of Brooklyn, N.Y.; and the Diocese of Metuchen, N.J. She also served as President of the national Catholic network, La RED.
2-12 St. Paul as Organizer of Missionary Disciples
We often think of St. Paul in isolation, as if he single-handedly preached the Christian faith throughout the ancient world. Yet, Paul never worked alone; he always had many associates. Moreover, in every place where Paul and his co-workers established a “church” (a local community of believers), they also trained the new Christians to participate in their expanding missionary efforts. This workshop will explore what we can learn from Paul’s life and teachings for our own efforts at forming communities of missionary disciples.
Fr. Felix Just, SJ, PhD
Jesuit priest Fr. Felix Just is Minister of the Loyola House Jesuit Community in San Francisco, Calif. He formerly taught at all three Jesuit universities in California – Loyola Marymount University, the University of San Francisco, and Santa Clara University. He conducts many adult faith formation programs for parishes and dioceses, and leads biblically based days of prayer, parish missions and retreats. Fr. Just has produced seven audio-CD programs with Now You Know Media and also maintains the internationally recognized website, catholic-resources.org.
2-13 Death by Comic Strip – Laughing, Loving and Letting Go
Have you ever felt like laughing and crying at the same time? In life, the good and the bad, the hilarious and the heartbreaking, simply do not cancel each other out. Using real-life stories and the humor of some of his favorite comic strips, Fr. Joe Kempf offers us important perspective and helpful coaching as we face life’s heartaches. What do we say to someone who has just buried a loved one or experienced some other tragedy? What can we expect of ourselves – or others – when we are grieving? As we laugh and cry, love and let go, where is God to be found?
Fr. Joe Kempf
A diocesan priest from St. Louis, Fr. Joe Kempf is founder and President of the non-profit Gospel Values, Inc. He is author of “Don’t You DARE Forgive. Unless ... ,” “No One Cries the Wrong Way” and a number of books for children, including “My Sister is Annoying,” “Don’t Drink the Holy Water” and “Sometimes Life Is Just Not Fair.” Fr. Kempf has also published a CD of guided prayer reflections as well as several videos.
2-14 God at the Movies
Many people now spend more time looking at their small screens than they spend looking at trees and books combined. Our big stories are often online or at the multiplex; yet, many of us have friends we have never even met. We may not like some of the contemporary films that present religious themes, but, as well-informed evangelizers, we better know what they are saying about what we hold dear.
Rev. Richard Leonard, SJ
Jesuit priest Fr. Richard Leonard is Director of the Catholic Office for Film & Broadcasting, based in Sydney, Australia. He has been a Visiting Professor at the Gregorian University in Rome and a Visiting Scholar at the University of California, Los Angeles. A popular speaker at the Religious Education Congress, Fr. Leonard is author of 10 books, including his latest, “Hatch, Match & Dispatch: A Catholic Guide to Sacraments.”
2-15 Sing Mercy, Live Mercy, Be Holy
Inspire your parish or school to embrace an attitude of mercy as they sing about it! Music is the perfect way to plant a message and mission into hearts and minds in our Sunday liturgies and religious education classrooms. Australian composer and teacher, Michael Mangan will lead us in a range of powerful songs that will help our faith communities focus on God’s mercy, and on a call to holiness through being merciful.
Michael Mangan is a composer, teacher and liturgist from Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. A former elementary Specialist Music Teacher, he has over 250 compositions that are used in parishes and schools throughout Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States. Mangan is President of the Australian Pastoral Musicians Network, a member of the Australian Academy of Liturgy, and Music Director at All Saints Catholic Parish in Brisbane.
2-16 How to Keep Your Family Catholic and Happy: Practical and Realistic Help for Families!
Explore ways to help families stay rooted in their Roman Catholic faith and traditions. Help answer your family’s questions about what we believe and why we do things as Catholics. This session will help inspire hope and offer practical ways to share your faith in a more effective way. This is suitable for families, parish priests, catechists and lay ministers trying to create and support family evangelization efforts. This will address all stages of family development (from toddlers and teens to adult children who have strayed from their faith). It will help make theology and doctrine more understandable for our participants.
Fr. Leo Patalinghug
Born in the Philippines and raised in the Baltimore area, Fr. Leo Patalinghug is a priest-member of the secular institute Voluntas Dei (The Will of God). He is founder and host of “Plating Grace,” as well as the founder and Chairman of The Table Foundation. Fr. Patalinghug, a sought-out speaker and best-selling author, is host of “Savoring Our Faith” on EWTN and of the podcast, “Shoot the Shiitake,” and winner of “Throwdown with Bobby Flay” on the Food Network.
2-17 Burning Hearts: Helping Teens Meet and Fall in Love with Jesus Christ
We’re facing a crisis of disaffiliation, scandal, confusion and doubt, and we get the opportunity to respond to those crises with hearts full of joy, minds ready to tackle problems creatively, and a zealous love of Jesus. How do we translate that to young people, and do for them what Jesus did on the road to Emmaus: Set their hearts on fire?
Katie Prejean McGrady
Katie Prejean McGrady is an international speaker, traveling to 38 states and three countries, and author of “Room 24: Adventures of a New Evangelist” and “Follow: Your Lifelong Adventure with Jesus.” She is the host of The Electric Waffle, a podcast of conversational chaos about culture and Catholicism. McGrady was one of three delegates chosen by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to attend the Pre-Synod gathering on Youth, Faith and Vocational Discernment at the Vatican.
2-18 Do Not Aspire to Be Called Holy Before You Really Are! (St. Benedict)
Nearly 1,500 years ago, St. Benedict wrote his Rule for monks in which he set out the way monastic life should be lived. It has long been recognized that St. Benedict’s wisdom can be applied to many situations beyond the cloister. Chapter 4 of the Rule of St. Benedict gives a list of “tools” that we can use to help us live better lives – to be holy. This workshop will offer insights from the Rule of St. Benedict and various monastic customs, and suggest ways in which they can be applied to our daily lives and enlighten different pastoral situations.
Abbot Richard Purcell, OCSO
Trappist monk Fr. Richard Purcell is Abbot of the Cistercian Monastery, Mount Melleray Abbey in Waterford, Ireland. For several years he was on the staff at Cistercian College, a high school for boys on the grounds of Mount St. Joseph Abbey in Roscrea, Ireland, where he taught religious education, music and French in addition to being a member of the chaplaincy team. Fr. Purcell is a member of the Irish Bishops’ Advisory Commission on Church Music and frequently presents diocesan music workshops and directs retreats.
2-19 Speak, Sing, Pray – Spirituality for Our Grade-School Children
Our grade school children’s spiritual lives are helped and mature by the way we encourage them to sing, speak and pray. Involving them in active listening, leading to a heartfelt response, sets up positive worship habits for the future. Come and see ways in which children can change from an uninvolved audience into willing participants in church.
Christopher Walker is an internationally known church composer, a choral conductor, a presenter on liturgical music and broadcasts on the BBC Network about liturgical music and other related topics. He formerly served at the Clifton Cathedral in the United Kingdom and is currently Director of Music at St. Paul the Apostle Church in Los Angeles. Walker is a worldwide speaker on church music and liturgy, and his music for adults and children is sung in churches worldwide. His latest work is entitled “Love Beyond Knowledge.”
2-20 Accompanying LGBTQ Youth and Their Families
Greg Walton shares his journey as a Catholic parent of LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning) kids and the transformation he and his wife underwent from an attitude of being faced with a calamity to one of being offered a call to love more deeply. Greg will encourage a dialogue about pastoral solutions to the isolation that LGBTQ children and their families often experience in their faith communities while providing a crash course on the important terms behind the acronym LGBTQIA+.
The ministry of Catholic musician and speaker Greg Walton has taken him all over the United States, Canada and Europe, performing at local and national gatherings, including World Youth Day and the National Catholic Youth Conference. Walton is author of the Catholic social teaching program, “Ignorance is Not Bliss,” and his latest CD release is titled “King of My Heart.” He currently works as the Electronic Evangelization Coordinator for St. Philip Church in Franklin, Tenn., and plays weekly at nearby Catholic Church of the Nativity in Thompson’s Station.
2-21 Be Who You Are – Teaching Holiness
Some Catholics grow up with the idea that to be “holy” means to be more like other religious people. The problem is that our idea of religious people might be wrong; they may not be as we imagine them to be and we can’t be someone else. So, what does it mean to “be holy” and how can I teach holiness in a way that is good for me, good for my community and good for the world? In recent times, Pope Francis and Pope Benedict have spoken much about holiness. Let us look at what they teach and explore how we too might learn, live and then communicate a healthy grasp of holiness.
David Wells is a religious education consultant whose career began as a teacher before becoming a research assistant for the Bishops’ Conference in England and Wales. Since then, his work has taken him all over the world, speaking at more than 500 conferences worldwide and guest lectures in three English universities and two seminaries. Wells has published two books: “The Reluctant Disciple” and “The Grateful Disciple,” and recently produced a DVD series titled, “Beloved Disciples.” His new book is due out this Lent.
2-22 Living Holy, Dancing the Living Spirit
Through sacred dance, answer the ancient call to being fixed on living “holy.” Learn to make your movements from the rising of your day through the counting of your daily steps, your interactions with children and others, even your sitting or lying down as the ongoing dance of the Living Spirit. Come to move and to be moved (Dt 6:5-7).
John West, Obl. OSB, MA, MEd
John West has led local, national and international workshops on medieval and sacred dance and liturgy. His articles appear in various liturgy and sacred dance journals. The Oblate of St. Andrew’s Abbey in Valyermo, Calif., is a member of the North American Academy of Liturgy, is a noted choreographer, and Artistic Director for the Valyermo Troupe, and co-producer for Wordnet Productions. West also serves as a workshop clinician and member of the RECongress Liturgy Committee.
2-23 What Are They Saying About Women Deacons?
The papal Commission for the Study of the Diaconate of Women has submitted its report. The 2019 Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon region has made its recommendation. Will the Catholic Church restore women to the ordained diaconate? Are women icons of Christ?
Dr. Phyllis Zagano
Dr. Phyllis Zagano is Senior Research Associate-in-Residence and adjunct Professor of Religion at Hofstra University in New York. A leading expert on women in ministry, she has authored or edited hundreds of articles and 23 books, including “Holy Saturday: An Argument for the Restoration of the Female Diaconate in the Catholic Church” and “Women Deacons: Past, Present, Future.” She was appointed to the 2016 Commission for the Study of the Diaconate of Women.
2-70 Sống Lòng Thương Xót để nên Thánh Giữa đời thường
Mọi người Kitô hữu đều được mời gọi nên thánh và đều được Chúa tín nhiệm gởi cả tấm lòng Người. Đó là một ơn gọi rất cao cả như lời Người dạy: “Anh em hãy nên hoàn thiện như Cha anh em trên trời là Đấng hoàn thiện” (Mt 5:48). Nên thánh vừa là một chuỗi cảm nghiệm sự ngọt ngào của ân sủng, vừa là một cuộc chiến gian nan không ngừng, và được đâm rễ vững nền nơi “mảnh đất” của lòng thương xót. Dẫu ranh giới giữa thánh thiện và tội lỗi, giữa ánh sáng và bóng tối là mong manh vô cùng. Nhưng hãy can đảm lên, vì Thầy đã thắng thế gian!
Growth in Holiness by Divine Mercy
Every Christian, of whatever rank or status, is called to holiness, as Jesus said: “So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt 5:48). The key to holiness is understanding God’s grace. Then, we can experience the beauty of God in our lives as we grow in holiness by the transforming power of God’s grace. However, our call to holiness, it also asserts, is a constant battle and if we do not realize this, it warns, we will be prey to failure or mediocrity. “Goodness and perfection are rooted on mercy” (Pope Francis). Although being holy is not easy and path to holiness is almost always gradual, “But be brave! I have conquered the world!” (Jn 16:33).
Soeur Maria Nguyễn Thị Hồng Quế, OP
Sơ thuộc Dòng Đa Minh Tam Hiệp, Việt Nam – Đặc trách Chương Trình Chuyên Đề Giáo Dục, Ban Mục Vụ Gia Đình TGP. TP.HCM. Sơ tốt nghiệp Thạc sĩ Tư Vấn tâm lý tại Manila, Philipines; Cử nhân Công tác xã hội – Thần học tại, Việt Nam. Với hơn 230 chuyên đề, các khóa huấn luyện, tĩnh tâm, Sơ luôn đồng hành và khuyến khích giáo dân trong và ngoài nước tích cực sống đạo giữa đời.
Sr. Mary Hong Que Nguyen, OP
Sr. Mary Nguyen, a member of Tam Hiep Dominican Sisters based in Bien Hoa, Vietnam, is Director of Education for Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) Archdiocese’s Family Ministry Committee. She earned degrees in theology and social work in Vietnam, and a master’s degree in psychology/counseling in the Philippines. Sr. Nguyen is a marriage guidance counselor, giving talks on leadership, living skills, psychological problems and marriage throughout the United States and abroad, including Australia and Canada.
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